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By Endurance We Conquer

I grew up loving the story of Ernest Shackleton, the man who tried to be the first to reach the South Pole and had to turn back with less than 100 miles to go, and then a few years later, having to fight for his own life and the lives of 24 of his men as their ship was destroyed in the ice as they tried to cross Antarctica. It may have been an odd story for children to read, but I remember my parents having me read books about this man and his story ever since I was little.

My Father loved the story and he loved the Shackleton Family Motto, Fortitudine Vincimus—”by endurance we conquer.” He used to say it all the time, he had coffee mugs with it on it, but more so, he modeled it in his life to me and my siblings.

In Youth Ministry, there are difficult times. Unless you are going on a mission trip to Antarctica to reach the penguins and scientists, they may not ever be as difficult as what Ernest Shackleton had to go through. But there are still severely strenuous seasons of Ministry as a Youth Pastor.

From the days of being unsure about our calling, whether or not we should be in ministry at all or just out of this particular ministry, to the days of heartbreak over students making the decisions they make.

Maybe your tough season is leading a change, being the “new” Youth Pastor in a broken system, or realizing you are whats broken.

It is in these times that our true Character is put to the test. It is also in these times that we grow the most.

Being forced out of our comfort zones quickly forces us to adapt to situations. When we lose our job and our steady income, we have to quickly adapt to not spending any money. When we are forced to lead in a different way, we adapt and learn to lead the way we need to lead.

So if your in the midst of a storm in your life right now, Praise God for the challenge. As tough as that can be, Praise God and thank him for your deliverance, because if you Endure You will make it through, and you will make come out of the storm a better person than you were going in.

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Ben Read has been mentoring youth since he was 18 years old. He grew up as a pastor's son, but he and his siblings devoted to breaking that stereotype. Committed to being a life-long learner, Ben understands that in the grand-scheme of things, he knows nothing, but is also a firm believer that God can and does work in people's lives before the age of 30, its one of the reasons he loves Youth Ministry. Ben met his wife, Sarah, while they attended Liberty University, and they currently serve youth in the small town of Trenton, IL , about a half hour away from St. Louis.